1970 - Afraid of huge social programs started by Richard Nixon, ALEC is created to propose legislation, tax cuts, and eradication of municipal, county, and state social services.

2010 - Colorado Springs accepts the ALEC blueprint for governance, cutting firefighter jobs, police, garbage pick up, and closing parks, museums and swimming pools.

"But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies."

“I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism. And I have a communications degree.”


A friend just returned from Colorado. He could not stop talking about the black skies. Here, we have a massive thunderstorm underway, with lights flickering, black skies, and lots of noise. He looked out the window, and said, "It was worse there. The scariest thing I ever saw."

360 houses, no, strike that. HOMES destroyed. Several dead, a few missing, and the utter destruction of block after block after block of what used to be prime housing in some of the prettiest scenery around. How did it come to this? I have two answers, TeaBuggerers and ALEC.

Here's what the Denver Post wrote in January, 2010, after several ALEC based proposals made their way into the real world:

COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric. More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.

The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.

Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.

As social experiments go, this example of rampant TeaBuggerism and ALEC legislative behavior shows just how badly things can go when they go bad. It is a bit like a 40 yr old punk proudly proclaiming, "I never had health care and I will never need it. I'm as healthy as a horse." Until the horse comes down with colic and is close to being dead on the hoof. When it is needed, there is nothing there to fall back on.

The same applies to Colorado Springs. Maintenance investments, infrastructure upkeep, having trained pros, like cops, firefighters, city workers on staff - these don't happen all at once. It takes time, training, investment, and rational thinking. It costs money to do all of that, it takes energy, planning ahead, and thinking of the worst case scenarios. It takes the understanding the emergencies can and do happen, and to prepare for them, you must prepare for the worst.

Colorado Springs legislators committed legislative malpraactice. For a short term, temporary gain, (severely cutting resources, by greaty reducing taxes) Colorado Springs tried an experiment. They followed the TeaBuggerers' demands, and they followed the ALEC playbook. Their motto was better suited for a sports arena: "Cut, Cut, then Cut some more. Rah!"

In exchange for gutting numerous programs intended to safeguard, to secure, and to protect the citizens of Colorado Springs, the legislators achieved a small tax break, and almost suffered from permanent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from patting themselves on their backs so strongly.

It is not that I have some glaring absence of empathy here. To the contrary, having such devastation and total loss pains me greatly. But we need to take the next step, and we need to use this horrific event to educate, to inform, and to stop rampant TeaBuggerism in its tracks.

From the LA Times:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Hundreds of families from neighborhoods torched by the massive Waldo Canyon wildfire met with local officials Thursday night to learn whether their homes had survived.

In an emotional meeting at a University of Colorado events center, Colorado Springs officials distributed printouts with addresses marking which houses had been destroyed or damaged, and which had survived, attendees said.

At least 346 homes were destroyed on some 35 streets in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, Mayor Stephen Bach said earlier in the day. He warned that the toll could grow as more areas are inspected.

There are three groups that made a bad situation worse: TeaBuggerers, ALEC, and those moronic legislators who swallowed the ALEC bullshit from top to bottom. Each should be held accountable for the damage done. True, there is no guarantee that having a working water system, or a fully staffed fire department would have stopped or limited the damage, and true, this is an epic fire, a full two months ahead of the normal fire season. But having no resources certainly made a bad situation far, far worse.

Privatize this, ALEC!

Now that they are shitting in their own crock pot, you can easily guess what sort of solution the Colorado Springs morans and hypocrites are now seeking:

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, who has been present at media briefings, skipped talking to reporters Friday morning.

He attended an emotional meeting the evening before with residents wanting to know what had happened to their homes. And in the morning, he was gearing up for his meeting with the president, sorting out in his head what kind of federal aid he would ask for.
"I really appreciate the president coming here ... if nothing more than just to reassure us that this has a focus at a national level, that there are people all over this country who are concerned for our citizens and those who have lost their homes," Bach said.
"And I do plan to ask for cash," he added.


ALEC and TeaBuggerers

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